By Steve Corkran
Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 3:12 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Teams have had the past 72 hours or so to negotiate contracts with unrestricted free agents. However, they weren’t allowed to finalize any deals until 3 p.m. today
Raiders head coach Hue Jackson cautioned people to be patient and not read too much into anything that transpired until we reached this point.
Well, we’re here now. So, expect the Raiders to announce a flurry of signings in the coming days, perhaps as soon as today. Remember, any player signed cannot practice until Aug. 4.
The Raiders have only 72 players on their roster right now. They are permitted to carry as many as 90 through the end of August, when rosters have to be pared to 75. Only 65 players participated in practice Wednesday and about the same is expected out on the field today.
That’s fine for the fringe players seeking to make an impression and, perhaps, make the 53-man roster. It’s not so good for the veterans, who are required to take more snaps than they are accustomed to.
“Yeah, it’s strange,” defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. “You feel it in the reps. You got to take a whole bunch of more reps. But in the end of the day, it’s going to get us in shape a little quicker and we’re going to be ready to play a little quicker, especially the practice coach is running. It’s rough, but it’s what we got to go through. We need that anyway.”
Jackson said several players capitalized on the added reps in practice Thursday.
“There’s no question,” Jackson said. “Again, as I said (Wednesday) night in our team meeting, every practice has a purpose, especially for a young guy because pretty soon all the reps you get might get cut down as we continue to move forward. Some guys flashed today. Some guys showed up, some undrafted guys were battling in there. That’s what it’s all about. Come to work every day with a purpose and come in here and try to get better. That’s what our guys are doing.”